Natural Man: Classic Lou (Mod) (Rmst)


aec.por549776.2 10/23/01 New
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    Natural Man: Classic Lou (Mod) (Rmst) Polydor

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Review Text Lou Rawls' tenure at MGM Records, which is chronicled on this compilation, was relatively brief (lasting less than three years) and not particularly successful. It began well with the Top 20 pop, soul, and easy listening chart success of "A Natural Man" in the fall of 1971, but then declined commercially, although the Natural Man LP and its 1972 follow-up, Silk & Soul, made the pop and soul charts, the latter producing a soul-singles chart entry in "His Song Shall Be Sung"; "Walk on In" from the third MGM LP, A Man of Value (1972), made the easy listening charts. Before leaving MGM, Rawls also recorded a concert album, Live at the Century Plaza (1973), and contributed a song to the soundtrack of the film Soul of Nigger Charley (1973). This material is the source of the 15 tracks on Natural Man/Classic Lou, and it results in a representative collection covering the eclectic range of styles in which Rawls has always performed. Relying on his deep, rich voice, he sings with confidence everything from the bluesy "I'm a King Bee" and the Beatles cover "Got to Get You into My Life" to Duke Ellington's jazz ballad "Sophisticated Lady." The selections from Live at the Century Plaza include re-recordings of Rawls' hits, like "Love Is a Hurtin' Thing" and "Dead End Street." This album is a portrait of the artist in transition from his early, sometimes gritty Capitol Records period of the '60s to his creamier Philadelphia International Records period of the '70s. It isn't essential Lou Rawls by any means, but it is typically enjoyable, and it fills a gap in his CD catalog. ~ William Ruhlmann

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Natural Man - 4:41
  2. 2. When I Fall in Love - 5:04
  3. 3. I'm a King Bee - 2:19
  4. 4. Got to Get You Into My Life - 3:48
  5. 5. His Song Shall Be Sung - 4:57
  6. 6. Watch What Happens - 4:44
  7. 7. Sophisticated Lady - 4:11
  8. 8. Walk on In - 3:38
  9. 9. Song For You - 4:41
  10. 10. Evil - 5:37
  11. 11. Morning Comes Around - 4:42
  12. 12. Tobacco Road - 4:15
  13. 13. Down Here on the Ground - 3:10
  14. 14. Love Is a Hurtin' Thing - 3:23
  15. 15. Dead End Street - 6:12

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